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Understanding the determinants of problem-solving behavior in a complex environmentIt is often argued that problem-solving behavior in a complex environment is determined as much by the features of the environment as by the goals of the problem solver. This article explores a technique to determine the extent to which measured features of a complex environment influence problem-solving behavior observed within that environment. In this study, the technique is used to determine how complex flight deck and air traffic control environment influences the strategies used by airline pilots when controlling the flight path of a modern jetliner. Data collected aboard 16 commercial flights are used to measure selected features of the task environment. A record of the pilots' problem-solving behavior is analyzed to determine to what extent behavior is adapted to the environmental features that were measured. The results suggest that the measured features of the environment account for as much as half of the variability in the pilots' problem-solving behavior and provide estimates on the probable effects of each environmental feature.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Casner, Stephen A.
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 16, 2013
Publication Date
December 1, 1994
Publication Information
Publication: Human Factors
Volume: 36
Issue: 4
ISSN: 0018-7208
Subject Category
Behavioral Sciences
Accession Number
Distribution Limits

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